Board your airships for the journey across the Boiling Sea, and head to the new settlement to seek your fortune! In Planet Steam , two to five players take the roles of entrepreneurs, racing to assemble equipment, claim plots of land, extract resources, and accumulate riches. After harvesting resources using tanks and converters, players must buy and sell those resources in a volatile and ever-shifting market. The one who amasses the greatest pile of credits by the end of the game will be victorious. However, only through shrewd resource management and clever manipulation of supply and demand can a player reign supreme!

Previously, we discussed staking claims , extracting resources, and manipulating the resource terminal . In today’s preview, we will look at the crack team of extraction experts available for hire as you work toward becoming the next entrepreneurial titan in Planet Steam .

Outbid Your Opponent to Hire an Expert

As a fledgling entrepreneur, new to life in the field, it can definitely benefit you to add the knowledge of a specialist to your efforts. Fortunately, there are many experts who will offer their services to the highest bidder, of course. Though their allegiance is directly tied to your ability to pay, getting a specialist on your side will give you an edge over the competition, one that just might be enough to turn the tide of economic supremacy in your favor.

Each round, players bid to select specialist cards, representing experts who will aid them for the remainder of the round. The first player must bid at least one credit. Subsequent players may choose to bid or pass. The winner gets to choose his specialist card for the round first. Then, auctioning continues until each player has recruited a specialist for the round.

Bidding is a tense, cutthroat endeavor, as it is vital to recruit the specialist who will bring needed skills to your team that turn. While each specialist card has powerful effects, not all of them will be relevant to your team each turn, so hiring a specialist who can’t give you a needed boost that round will cost you valuable credits and set you that much farther behind your opponents.

Meet the Specialists

Let’s take a closer look at the experts available to be added to your team. First is Lady Steam, a no-nonsense businesswoman who will make sure you and your associates make it to the front of the pack. Specialist cards determine turn order for the round, and Lady Steam is always first player, which means first crack at claiming zones, purchasing tanks, and buying and selling resources. With Lady Steam on your side, you won’t have to wait in line. Plus, being the first to buy and sell resources means you won’t be subject to the whims of the opposition, or the shifting market prices.

Next is the Venturer , who is in charge of auctioning claim zones each turn. One of the first to land in this now-booming town, the Venturer laid claim to prime plots of real estate on behalf of the now-thriving companies, looking to make a profit by selling them off later. Each turn, the player with the Venturer specialist card chooses an unclaimed zone to auction. If the Venturer has been recruited to your team for the round, he’ll negotiate you a better deal with the company, so you only have to pay half of your bid.

The Airship Captain pilots a support airship, which can power up your tanks to give extraction a boost. If recruited, you can direct him to moor his support airship at any of the points along the claim zones as shown here. All tanks in the row where the airship is docked extract an additional resource during bonus extraction.

The Engineer’s mechanical know-how grants you either a building license or fifteen credits from the reserve each time he comes to work for you. The building license allows you to claim a zone during the expansion phase, without having to roll a die to determine placement. Use of a building license also grants you the option of claiming a zone that already has a neutral claim marker on it.

Finally, when on your team, the Bank Agent (only used in a five player game) allows you to immediately upgrade one of your resource carriers, or take a resource from the reserve. Upgrading carriers is crucial, since you must have space for the resources you extract. The more upgraded a carrier is, the higher capacity it has to hold resources, which means more credits for you. Gaining free resources may help offset the cost of purchasing superchargers or importing tanks.

Now that we’ve become acquainted with the experts available for hire, you can determine how they will fit into your plans to become a top entrepreneur. Meanwhile, keep checking here for more news about the upcoming Planet Steam !

Planet Steam is a board game in which two to five players take the roles of entrepreneurs in a steampunk boomtown, racing to assemble equipment, claim plots of land, extract resources, and accumulate riches. After harvesting resources using tanks and converters, players must buy and sell those resources in a volatile and ever-shifting market.

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